Posted: 6:22 pm Monday, September 20th, 2010

Inside the Week 3 football rankings 

By Jeff Greer

Well, that was close.

American Heritage, last week’s fifth-ranked team, made No. 1 Glades Central (3-0) work for a W. It took a Kirk Gibson-like play from standout receiver Kelvin Benjamin to will the Raiders to a 20-18 win. But let’s be honest: Hosting your first game of the season against American Heritage, the defending Class 1A champs, isn’t a cakewalk.

For that reason, we kept Glades Central in the top spot of our Week 3 top 10 (get stats here, too).

Dwyer is certainly knocking on the door, and Park Vista and Seminole Ridge kept up their winning ways. Jupiter Christian rejoined the top five with a 49-28 win at former No. 9 Lake Worth. American Heritage and Boca Raton dropped a spot, Fort Pierce Westwood jumped a few, and West Boca Raton and Atlantic joined the Week 3 top 10. No longer ranked are Pahokee and Lake Worth.

Here’s the list:

  1. Glades Central (3-0)
  2. Dwyer (2-1)
  3. Park Vista (3-0)
  4. Seminole Ridge (3-0)
  5. Jupiter Christian (3-0)
  6. American Heritage (1-2)
  7. Fort Pierce Westwood (3-0)
  8. West Boca Raton (2-1)
  9. Boca Raton (1-1)
  10. Atlantic (2-1)

Dwyer basically pledged that it would blow out every team it played the rest of this season after losing its season opener. A 52-0 win over Pahokee six days after a 35-0 victory over Palm Beach Gardens has us thinking Dwyer wasn’t lying — and that Pahokee probably shouldn’t be ranked for now.

Park Vista and Seminole Ridge each get two district games and an open date over the next three weeks. Palm Beach Central (2-0) has something to prove, and the Broncos get their shot at both teams during that three-week span.

Jupiter Christian’s offense is as efficient as it gets. No one has been able to slow down Trey Pendergrass, who ran all over Lake Worth on Friday. The senior tailback has 473 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in three games. The Eagles can seemingly score at will, which is bad news for the rest of the Class 1B.

We dropped American Heritage to No. 6 because the Stallions lost a game they should have won. Penalties and mistakes hurt them in their upset bid at Glades Central. But still, losing by two points at Glades Central isn’t so bad.

Fort Pierce Westwood’s comeback win at Vero Beach is something to talk about. All of the sudden, Westwood has emerged ahead of Vero, Fort Pierce Central and Treasure Coast as the toast of the coast up north. 

As for West Boca Raton leap-frogging Boca, it’s easy: West Boca beat ‘em back in Week 1 and won during Boca’s idle week. The Bulls have a stout defense, and putting 42 points up against John I. Leonard showed that their offense can score a little bit. Still, West Boca has to score on a consistent basis to be good. We’re watching them closely.

Boca Raton’s Week 4 game against Seminole Ridge is an early chance to find out if the Bobcats are for real or simply respected because of last year. Pahokee found out its answer to that question at Dwyer. Boca has a chance to learn its fate this week. With Keith Byars II still out, are the Bobcats legitimately a contender for District 8-6A this year? We’ll find out Friday night.

With linebacker Jephete Matilus and QB Rudy Conde back, we think Atlantic has the tools to stay competitive in 8-6A, which Boca Raton coach Keith Byars called the toughest in the state. The Eagles have as fast a defense as anyone, and Conde should help the offense get some more traction. He has the weapons in Ezekiel Turner and J’Rod Beard. Everyone will have to be on the same page and play mistake-free football over the next two contests, when Atlantic hosts Dwyer and then travels to Park Vista.

Other teams we’re watching (in no particular order): Olympic Heights (2-0), Palm Beach Central (2-0), Fort Pierce Central (2-0), Santaluces, Palm Beach Gardens (2-1), King’s Academy (3-0), Cardinal Newman (3-0), Pahokee (2-1), Lake Worth (2-1), Treasure Coast (1-2) and Glades Day (2-2).